Setting our Sights on 2020- A Soluna Farm Update for September 2019
There have been tons of changes at Soluna Farm in the last year. For perspective of what we've done-- at the Geauga County Fair last year I was first introduced to Highland Cattle. My, how things have changed!
As a quick recap: In the last year, we added lots of cows--and had some calves. We leased one property and have left that behind. We bought a maple syrup operation, and made lots of syrup. We added 17 pigs, who then had lots more pigs. We bought an orchard, and have fenced part of it off for our cows. We leased another pasture, our nursery for our mamas and babies. So, in short nothing major!
In an honest moment, I will tell you that this year was tough. I threw more at myself than I should have, but we made it. That means that I probably haven't learned my lesson. That having been said: Let's talk about what is coming up!
1) I made a very tough decision to put off our chicken and turkey operations until next year. We loved the outcome of the programs, but we need to do it right. We will take the winter to build our infrastructure and plans for both of those operations. We value quality, and will do it right---advance planning isn't our forte, but we're going to give it a try.
2) The orchard is a year away from being the go-to hangout for Fall weekends. By this time next year we will have cleaned up the property, trimmed trees, and will have a cider press, fire pits, and all of the wonderful things that make Fall in Ohio so great. Where else can you go to pick apples and pumpkins, and hang out with cows, pigs, sheep, etc. This is only Phase 1! We have big plans for this property.
3) We understand that the hardest part of getting access to local food is---TIME! This year, we tried to do a CSA-like program. In many ways it has been a success, in others it was a bit challenging. We are going to continue to seek effective ways to make our products--and other local products---available to you in the most convenient way possible. We have some ideas, and will pursue those over the winter. Watch for announcements!
4) We have a commitment to biodiversity both at the Farm and the Orchard. In addition to preparations for the chickens and turkeys, we will be building bat houses, bird houses, composting tools, worm farms, and anything else we can come up with to help build a strong ecosystem. We will resurrect our beekeeping operation, and hopefully begin to see the benefits of that.
5) Finally, we skipped FarmFest this year---for a variety of reasons---but will bring that back in a big way in 2020. We love a good party, and the next time we do it, we will be enjoying the bounties of our farm. I promise, the parties are coming, and they will celebrate both friendship and production!
Its hard to believe that Soluna Farm is exactly 2.5 years old today. We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go. We appreciate everyone's support to this point, and look forward to sharing the growth of our permaculture oasis for many years to come!